In the current energy market, operators of unconventional assets must explore new methods that dramatically reduce the cost of recovery per barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) without adversely affecting production. As such, a number of technologies focusing on expanding completion thresholds and mitigating bypassed reserves have recently come on the market. This paper discusses an engineered approach to utilize one such technology. The approach taken is a holistic petrophysical analysis, coupled with a novel controlled pressure pumping technique (CPP), and deployment of degradable diversion pills within each stage to maximize fracture initiations and stimulated volume.
The industry has long assumed that flow-through perforations were a relatively predictable process, given that little or no extrinsic evidence suggested otherwise. Recently, major advances in fiber optic technology, performed during both stimulation and production, have demonstrated that flow is actually not equally distributed. During pumping operations, there can be great temporal variation in casing exit points affecting fluid flow, the addition of diversion creates further complexity to this already dynamic environment. To resolve against variability an integrated approach was required. A progressive completion arrangement aided by petrophysical analysis to define and select perforation cluster locations, a new diagnostic fracture breakdown and propagation process to remedy the chaotic nature of initial flow distribution, and well-defined diversion materials and processes to manage exit point discharge was implemented.
Wells in the Jafurah area are typically drilled with approximately 5,000 ft laterals. Over time the challenge of improving cluster efficiency, optimizing cluster spacing, and increasing connected stimulated reservoir volume to enhance long-term well productivity has led to several solutions being introduced, including increasing the number of clusters per stage while consequently increasing the pumping rate and using diversion technology.